WRV Introduction to Culinary students preparing lunch in the cafeteria.
It is so strange to not be in school this week, but I am thankful for all we have done this year in Family and Consumer Sciences at White River Valley. A few weeks ago, students in Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality got to plan, promote and prepare lunch in the White River Valley high school cafeteria.
School lunch has many specific requirements. Some apply to each day and some are for the week. Students must be offered protein, grain, vegetable, fruit and dairy each day. Each week half the grains must be whole grains. There are specific amounts of vegetable color groups that must be offered each week.
Students learned about these and other lunch requirements to plan an entire week’s menu. Then they spent a week promoting their menu. They created posters, made announcements and handed out samples.
Finally, they paired up and two of them assisted in preparing each item and serving the lunch to WRV High School students each day.
Monday was chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, broccoli and apple crisp. Tuesday, students prepared steak quesadillas, black beans, corn and strawberry applesauce. On Wednesday, students did something really different and served mac & cheese pizza, spinach salad, onion rings and grapes and apples. Thursday, students prepared honey BBQ chicken with a Hawaiian roll, baked beans, green beans and tropical fruit salad. Friday, we continued the tradition from the previous year and served ham and cheese sliders, carrots, celery, hominy and pineapple.
Here is what they had to say about the experience:
“My favorite part of working in the cafeteria was probably the relaxed atmosphere with lots of laughs and fun. I also really enjoyed getting all the compliments from the day on how well we did.” - Madison Koenig
Triston Richardson learned that teamwork gets the cafeteria ladies through the day.
“I felt really comfortable with making the pizza since we had done it multiple times during class.” - Alison Jones
“I helped make the dumplings, mashed potatoes, apple crisp, and broccoli. I helped Michelle do the dishes and I served.” - Abby Shake
Raven Tatlock learned how much work it takes to prepare lunch for the entire school while she folded the tortillas to make the steak quesadilla.
The week that students in Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality planned and prepared the menu for the cafeteria, participation was up and the best numbers were on Thursday, when we served BBQ chicken.
“This was a stellar group,” said WRV Cafeteria Director Renee Wiggington said, “I enjoyed spending the week with these students. They all deserve many, many, many accolades.”
This is such a fun activity that allows students to take part in the operation of their school. It gives them a hands-on experience while benefiting the school. I am so proud of their work and happy to be part of a school and program that provides these opportunities for students.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner